Tag Archives: Manga

Bestsellers: February 2021

It’s almost the end of March which means it’s time to talk about the best-selling board games, comics, and manga for February. Better late than never, right?

Bestselling Board Games for February 2021

Here to Slay: Warriors and Druids

TeeTurtle — makers of novelty t-shirts, reversible plushes, and board games– released Here to Slay in 2020 and the Warriors and Druids expansion in February 2021. Here to Slay was a good seller last year so it wasn’t a surprise that its first expansion was a big hit.

Marvel Champions LCG: Quicksilver

Number two on the list is another expansion. Marvel Champions is the newest addition to Fantasy Flight Games’ Living Card Game engine, a line that includes Arkham Horror, Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings. Quicksilver was the latest expansion.

Ticket to Ride

The only title from the original evergreen trio of Catan, Pandemic and Ticket to Ride to hit the list in February. The staples tend to slow down in the post-holiday season but Ticket to Ride was still hot even as the weather stayed cold.

Azul

Hmmmm…maybe the aforementioned trio should become a quartet…

Codenames Deep Undercover

To the best of my knowledge, the naughty version of Codenames was only available south of the border at Target stores. In February 2021, dirty Codenames came to Canada.

Disney Villainous

I rolled up sales of the original game with its expansions in order to get it on this list. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone.

Forbidden Desert

Matt Leacock , the designer of Pandemic, brought the simple mechanics of that game to family-friendly themes with Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert, and Forbidden Sky. Forbidden Desert was back in fashion in February.

Grounded for Life

When I was a wee lad I distinctly remember not being allowed into my grandmother’s living room one evening because the adults were watching a movie called Jaws. I sooooooo wanted to see what was going on. I wonder if there are wee lads out there now wondering what the adults are doing around the kitchen table with that game of white and black cards. Why is dad blushing? Why is mom cackling? Why did Uncle Jim’s new girlfriend leave the house suddenly? Why did grandma say neighbour Jim is going straight to the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks? Give the youngsters a taste of safe rudeness with Grounded for Life.

Lost Cities

One of the most popular two player games over the years has been Lost Cities. The version we stock now is the latest version, which includes a new, sixth expedition.

Bestselling Manga for February 2021

There were no stand-out graphic novels / trade paperbacks this month in terms of multiple sales so I’ve focused this list on manga. Titles are listed; not individual volumes. Manga are listed based on the total number of volumes sold for the month.

Haikyu

This long-running volleyball themed manga has been around for nine years but it has never enjoyed much success in ComicReaders until last year when it suddenly exploded. A wider popularity in North America means it was hard to get on the shelf, but in early 2021 we were able to start stocking its run. And then most of them sold.

Attack on Titan

Did it end? I think both the manga and the anime have ended or are ending but I don’t want to look because I’m behind in both and I want to avoid spoilers. Sometimes when a series is about to end or does end we see an increase in interest as people look to finish their run or finally want to see what the fuss is about.

My Hero Academia

The only thing surprising about this is that we sold more Attack on Titan and Haikyu. My Hero Academia has had some availability issues so that likely played a role.

One Piece

I started scaling back One Piece because it has slowed down in recent years but here in 2021 its on people’s minds and the volumes are flying off the shelves. This might have been higher on the list had I had more on the shelf. I am trying to remedy that in March.

Naruto

Here is another classic back in fashion.

This list might be prejudiced toward manga with a large number of volumes so let me mention a series that has had a lot of interest in 2020 and now 2021 but does not have as many volumes as the above powerhouses. Goodnight Punpun. 7 volumes. Solid manga. Not for the kiddies.

Bestselling Comics for February 2021

Lots of familiar faces on the best-selling comics for February. Read our January 2021 list to get some commentary on the titles listed below.

Amazing Spider-man
Fantastic Four
King in Black
X-Men
X-Force
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Last Ronin
Venom
King in Black: Gwenom vs Carnage
Star Wars
Justice League
Symbiote Spider-man: King in Black

Uzumaki volume 1

Uzumaki volume 1 uzumakivol1
by Junji Ito
Viz Communications
BW, 208 pgs w/ ads
$9.99 US / Higher in Canada

It is rare that the mundane be made truly unsettling. Manga-ka Junji Ito manages to achieve this in Uzumaki volume 1. He makes the pattern known as spirals a device of horror.

The first instance of this pattern occurs on the very first page. Kirie is overlooking the seaside town in which she lives. The sky above is grey and spirals can be seen in the clouds. This is a subtle instance of the spiral and almost goes unnoticed. A couple pages later, Kirie is walking down a street and a whirlwind rushes past. On the heels of that, she spots her boyfriend’s father crouched in a grubby alley. His attention is fixated on a small object. That object is a spiral shaped snail shell. It’s a quietly unsettling moment because such fixation is unnatural and as such just simply feels wrong.

Spirals remain a fixture Uzumaki from that point on. Volume 1 is divided into a series of chapters, each one a tale that describes another individual’s obsession with spirals and how that obsession leads eventually to despair, madness and ultimately death or worse. Continue reading Uzumaki volume 1

Gyo volume 1 (2nd Edition)

Gyo volume 1  gyo1
by Junji Ito
Viz Communications
English Adaptation by Yuji Oniki
BW, 200 pgs
$9.99 US / Higher in Canada

One of the great things about my gig here at comicreaders.com is the very fact I have access to a wide variety of comics. When I buy comics I need to be selective because my money can only go so far. I will admit to you too that I’m a very cautious shopper. I’m more apt to buy a new series written by a writer I’ve enjoyed in the past then branch out and try a comic from someone with whom I’m not familiar. I don’t have that worry when reviewing comics. I can pick and choose whatever I want without thinking about my pocketbook. In doing so, I’ve been able to make some fantastic personal discoveries. I’m talking about the cool comics that grab you by the short and curlies of your interest and don’t let go. These are the comics for which I get up on my soapbox and shout. These are the comics I want you to read.

Gyo is that kind of comic.

Written and illustrated by Junji Ito, Gyo is a comic that has the word cool written across it in big, bold, flashing letters. It’s a horror comic of the highest degree (the best damn horror comic I’ve read to date…period), telling the tale of strange fish that start crawling out of the sea on their own legs. Yes, on legs. Continue reading Gyo volume 1 (2nd Edition)

Ohikkoshi

ohikkoshiOhikkoshi
by Hiroaki Samura
Dark Horse Comics

BW, 248 pgs w/ ads
$12.95 US / More in Canada

Blade of the Immortal was the first manga I read. It was my introduction to manga, showing me Japanese comics weren’t all big hair, big eyes, and big robots. It took me three volumes before I really got into the samurai / punk storytelling, but Hiroaki Samura’s artwork had me hooked from the very beginning. I knew going into Ohikkoshi that the stories within were going to be very different from Blade of the Immortal. This is a collection of early Samura creations, each told in “modern” Japan.

ohikkoshi_panelThe first is the longest of the bunch and it gives this collection its name. It’s the story of several twenty-something university students as they fall in love, in lust, play in rock bands, get drunk and basically try to avoid entering adulthood while they still have the energy to do so. The core of the story– the lust affair the main character, Sachi, has with the sexy Akagi – didn’t do it for me. I found Sachi annoyingly hopeless and loud, and while Akagi had her charms, she is too mature and worldly for Sachi. I didn’t stop reading, however. What kept me going was waifish Kobarukawa. This young woman is the quietest of the group, and yet she’s a star performer on the local rock and roll scene. She’s a real cutie, and she harbors strong, unspoken feelings for Sachi. They’ve been friends forever, but he’s too wrapped up in his own personal lust for Akagi to notice little Kobarukawa, although I feel Kobarukawa has dodged a bullet there. Sachi is no catch. Another strength of note is Samura’s art. Even though the subject matter differes greatly from Blade of the Immortal, Samura employs some of the same art techniques, but they don’t have the same dramatic effect because Ohikkoshi is a romantic comedy. Continue reading Ohikkoshi

Blue Spring

bluespringBlue Spring
by Taiyo Matsumoto

Viz Communications

BW, 216 pgs w/ ads
$9.99 US / More in Canada

If you follow any sort of popular culture for any length of time you are likely to find yourself settling into specific genres of styles for periods of time. This is easier to do when your access to genres and styles is limited. I had always heard manga offers a far more wide range of stories then North American comics, mainly because manga is the pop culture mainstream and not a fringe stream like comics in our own country. This certainly may well be the case, but after reading and reviewing English translated manga for a period of years, I have come to realize that while our Japanese brethren are enjoying a full spectrum of manga, we here in North America are getting only a minor segment. Recently, the quirky comedies, mecha, magical girls, beautiful boys and unlikely romances have started to blur together. This is a frustrating state to be in as a reader because you lose sight of moments of originality in each story. It is downright hazardous as a reviewer because you start to lose sight of what makes a good story…well…good. All you start to focus on is how much everything is so similar.

Thank god then for books like Blue Spring, a manga that is so different from anything currently being offered that it snaps you right out of that dangerous mind set with its multitude of unique perspectives in both story and art. Continue reading Blue Spring